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Charlie Rose

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

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Us 9, Washington 7, David Brooks 6, Charlie 4, Jon Meacham 3, China 3, Ronald Reagan 2, Jon 2, United States 2, Barack Obama 2, Friedman 2, Tom Brokaw 2, Tom Friedman 2, Obama 2, Cairo 2, Europe 2, Afghanistan 2, New York 2, Wayside 1, Boehner 1,
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  PBS    Charlie Rose    News/Business.   
   (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    November 6, 2012
    11:00 - 12:00am PST  

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vote or not i've learned to you, i've listened to you and i return to the white house more determined to do the work and inspired to do the work we need to do. so hugs for the bidens. so the president a nod to what this election was all about that it's not as if nothing happened here over the last year or two. what did you think of that speech, david? >> it was excellent. it brought me back to actually the des moines -- the iowa thisn
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there was a narrowing of the constituency so that you really were operating within very confined space if you wanted to get the nomination on the republican side, for example. and even on the democratic side there was a lot of kind of holding your hands and feet to the fire if you're going to run and not hear other points of view on the lying thing there was a lot of that going on. was it greater than what we've mean? the past or do we have a greater awareness? i can't say. >> i think one of the things that links both the cultural and political side here is american democracy has worked best when we have been -- we, everybody, has been fully engaged in it. it's a jacksonian idea. that elections are not the end of something. they're the beginning of something. one of the things, has anyone heard this word "mandate" at all
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this year? except as maybe what chris chriie and president obama went on? aside from that it's not -- it hasn't been part of the conversation and all of us, the voters, particularly in states that are not deep red or deep blue have a certain obligation to give their lawmakers the room to cast a couple of votes that might get them-- many my favorite washington verb-- primaried. when you talk to these guys, when the cameras are away, they say the real problem here is not so much the general election it's that if we vote vote with the other side on a couple of big things which is what a fiscal deal is going to require then we're going to get hit by people who think we aren't pure enough so we are punishing compromise at just the moment we need. the middle way is not always the right way, but sometimes it is.
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>> we are punishing compromise, but we also need leaders in congress who will be courageous enough, have the debts as well as the -- the depth as well as the stamina to really make a difference. what we didn't say is that the president's going to have to do right after the election is is he's going to have to staredown congress and especially his own party. you cater to your own party when you campaign you've got to make your own party a little unhappy if you're going to govern -- >> rose: so back to teddy roosevelt. had we lost the presidency as the bully pulpit and are we looking at a time in 2013 ich we're loking at small things not big things? >> it's very hard. you'll talk to anybody, and tom know this is better than any of us. you talk to white house operatives, republican operatives, they can not get the
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kind of audience they used to get, when president reagan wanted to give an economic speech he got, what, 45, 50 million, and he got the time in prime time. presidents don't get that, anymore, unless it's a real, real crisis. so they cobble these things together, they go on "the view," they go on letterman, they get attacked for that. ut, in fact, that's the only way to reach folks. >> rose: and they believe it humanized them to do that. >> but they can not get -- it's very hard to exercise presidential leadership in the classic sense in a culture that is so incredibly atomized. >> i don't think i agree with that. so if you look at what's happened over i would say the last 30 or 40 years is power has become centralized in washington. in the white house each white house i've covered is more insular and centralized than the one before and it's a relatively small number of people in the west wing.
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in congress it's more centralized. in the house much more centralized in the speaker's office. in the senate much more centralized in the leadership. so i do think if you got say an obama and a boehner and a romney or a reid together with a relatively small number of people you could exercise serious presidential leadership even with all the other things going on in the country. >> tom and then jon. go ahead, tom. >> i'll just add to david's point. when jon meacham 20 years from now writes the biography of president obama and the first term there will surely be a chapter titled "how could bit that barack obama turned out to be the worst communicating president in american history?" i think that's been -- he himself has acknowledged he had no narrative. and i think part of it was that he was reacting to the hillary criticism, oh, he just gives speeches. part of it he was truly focused on the substance of what he did i would argue it was not all just this noise thg.
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i think they had a very bad communications strategy. there's a way of getting things across and repeating things. a way of explaining things like health care, a way of explaining the importance of race to the top in this year of globalization, a way of explaining the amazing deals he put through and i think he's poorer for it for not having taken the time or risen to that challenge. >> rose: . >> not to disagree with my friend david brooks, the hamiltonian who believes in centralized power, one of the few conservative powers -- >> and your friend thomas jefferson -- >> who believed in democracy and the virtue of the people. so nothing personal in this at all. i think it's just very, very hard to exercise and i agree with tom to present a coherent narrative in a culture where every is their own dun did, their own anchorman, their own narrator. >> rose: david brooks or tom friedman, in washington, back to
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the idea of presidential leadership. remember -- i remember when jimmy carter and there was all this conversation about one man couldn't hold the job and along came ronald reagan and said, yes, in fact, he can hold this job and provide a vision aren't these qualities that are still viable for presidential leadership. >> i guess i would say the sign of a failing president is someone who talks about the limitationlimitation of the powe office. (laughter). >> rose: or david suggests it's a marketing problem and not a content problem. go ahead. >> i woulday it's not knowing how to use the power. now, listen, there are limits on the power. i once asked someone who was president "what did you learn in office that you didn't know beforehand?" and he said "there's a lot of passive aggressive behavior in government that i didn't understand." that's true. the president gives an order and nobody does anything. that happens a lot. nonetheless being mayor of new york until rudy giuliani came
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along and got a lot done and mayor bloomberg got a lot done. they said that before reagan got a lot done and, frankly, barack obama got a fair amount done in his first term. so i think it's psible t get things done. i think you have to revive faith in government. i think you have to disagree with tom a little about the communications issue. i don't think obama had a communications issue. he just used big government a lot and i don't think americans believe in big government so i think it was a substance issue and to me the next president has to take issues out of column a of the republican side and say some of their debt ideas are right, some of the regulatory ideas are right and take issues out of column b, the democratic side and say a lot of their issues on inequality are right and i'm going t take out of both sides and that would confuse everybody but most people in the country, even the tweeting and the blogging, they would say "interesting." >> i thought they were far too promiscuous in how they used the president as a speech maker.
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especially in 2010. they had anymore the backyards in new mexico. they thought he had a magic about him that predated him taking office with the campaign and it just wasn't having an impact anymore because people see so much all day everyday. it's not unique. there was a time-- and i've been in this business a long time-- the president's going to make a prime time speech, that's unusual and we have to pay attention. that's not true anymore. >> charlie, i would say one thing which is that i think this president uniquely did not use his cabinet and leverage some of the really skilled people in this cabinet. i mean, obama's cabinet for the last year has been in a witness protection program. i've heard that we had a labor crisis in this country. i would shudder to think how few americans know that we have a labor secretary let alone know her name let alone if you flaed her picreow on your screen anyone would know who she was. now, you have people like arnie
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duncan over at education who are tremendous great communicators, did a lot and who can amplify the president's message. vilsack at agriculture. these are really good, solid people. they were uniquely underutilized. there are endangered species i've seen more in the last year than i have lisa jackson the head of they yay who is a fantastic administrator. >> rose: david brooks, let me go back to the debt problem of which you have said the national debt problem is a medicare problem. what should we do now about health care? >> well, i have my own preferred approach which i have no confidence in which is the premium support approach which is basically what mitt romney -- but say romney loses, there's still another approach proposed by people which basically depends on getting rid of the fee for service system. as long as we're paying for quantity, not quality, we're going to have a problem. and as long as people are unwilling to face end-of-life issues we're going to have a problem andthat's a moral
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national conversation and by the way it's not the people who are dieing who want to spend every last dollar on getting hip replacement when you're 98, it's the families of the people who are dying who don't want to have that unpleasant feeling of guilt that they didn't do everything they could. so those two issues, those are the two core issues to keep the country solvent whether you believe in a bigger government or smaller government, if you can't keep it solvent, it doesn't matter. >> i think the other big piece of that is that you've got to get the consumer involved. i now have a trick that i do with audience. how many of you know how much you spend on your health care last year and roger goodell the commissioner of the national football league he said i don't even know who to ask. people have just gotten used to walking in with an insurance policy or going to the e.r. and saying "i've gotten a ache or a pain." i have a daughter who's been in the mid-middle of this, an e.r. physician in san francisco, she's now shifted and finding herself doing more and more on end of life and making sure families are prepared for these
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issues and cost savings can be enormous a big par of the play it is trying to level the playing field. what we spend in south florida or other parts of the country is enormous. these the kinds of hard, complex issues we have to drill down on. >> rose: go ahead, jon. >> and it's culture, not politics. families that decide -- you know, death panels got a bad rap but i was on one once for my grandmother. i think we've all been on them at various times and you have to -- these are all organic kind of respected -- >> right. it's organic. >> rose: tom and amy i want to ask this question before we turn to foreign policy. we talk a lot about entrepreneurial spirit which you suggested earlier. we talk about innovation. david writes about that and everybody thinks about that. have we lost that? does that need to be somehow
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rekindled or is it there and moving along spectacularly well? >> well, you know, there are statistics that show that startups have slowed down. coughlin institute has done a study onthat and there has been a slowing. no one knows what the reasons are. one of the things that's had a negative effect was the change in bankruptcy laws. a lot of people did startups on their credit cards and the -- that limited some people's ability toll do that. but i -- traveling around the country like all of us on this show get the chance to do, i tell people if you want to be an optimist about america, stand on your head because the country looks so much better from the bottom up than it the does from the studio david and i are in overlooking washington, d.c. it's still exploding wth enrepreursp and i think that one of the things that the next president has to do is really convey excitement about that and literally sit down with everyone in the business from one end to the other and say what are the things we have to
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do to amplify it, to take it to scale. because the days when someone is going to come to your town with a 25,000 person factory, that's over. ford will come, but it may be with a 2, 500 person robot factory so we need 50 people starting jobs for 20, 20 people starting jobs for 30, 30 people starting jbs for 50. that's what we need and we need it at scale. >scale. >> rose: a new president faces for his country a diminished role for america or what? >> i want to go back to your opening, charlie and something jon meacham said which i certainly believe but the american dream is at stake. we have to pass on a rising standard of living to our children and i believe that's the biggest foreign policy issue in the world because if america can't continue to provide the global public goods it provides in thewor stem and i am a believer probably that we do -- we are a net positive contributor to the global
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system, if we can't do that, your kids won't just grow up in a different america, they'll grow up in a fundamentally different world, a world ordered by china or russia or most likely nobody at all. so there's a lot at stake here in how our economy grows and develops. part of that is going to require pulling back from missions that are completely out of proportion like afghanistan. but it's also remembering one thing: we have one unique thing that the chinese and rsians n't have. we can lead by emulation. the chinese have to buy people, the russians have to bludgeon people and when we get it right, when people see us as the greatest place to get an education, start a company and get a job the effect that has in expanding our power and influence is exponential. >> rose: where does american leadership express itself in terms of going beyond its own borders. david? >> first the old-fashioned truth is power does matter and litary does matter.
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we'll have a military presence for that. dealing with iran is going to be the number one issue the next president faces. and then finally-- and i think this again-- the blurring between that policy is that we have a lot of countries around the world facing demographic crises with aging welfare states. and so we all have sort of similar problems, whether it's japan, europe, us, even some extent china which is aging without a welfare state. so providing some leadership on that and maybe getting people to think together about how you deal with these issues, that seems to be important. finally i will say what amy said which is that our university system is the tremendous exporter of soft power right now. i met with three of the online educators last week and they said "we're proud to be american. and we've got people all around the world who want to take classes because they are american universities." and that's just a tremendous opportunity to spend -- not so much american ideas but the american tradition of
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educational freedom. and pluralism around the world. >> and when they get that education will i allowthem to come here and work? >> immigration -- it is so stupid to depart those students who come here, get a degree and want to start a company here and employ americans. and we have examples of students who were deported back to india and they started up their comny there and they're opening branches here rather then letting them stay here. >> bit of special interest pleading for the biographers of the world. david says the number one problem we're going to face is iran. that's possible, but if we had been sitting here in 2000 we would not presumably have talked about the effects of the terrorist attacks that happened less than a year later and the foreign policy effects and economic effects so we don't
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know what the number one foreign policy will be. we can make educated guessing but things happen we don't anticipate that's why the character seems to bring -- but september 11 that's why the character of whoever wins this election is so important. because foreign policy as clinical as we want it to be is a human undertaking. >> rose: what do you mean by character. help us understand what character has to do in terms of -- what are we talking about. >> i think we saw in 2001 that we had a president had who had a stubborn streak, who -- in a way radicalized byvents in the autumn of 2001. >> rose: 9/11 came because of the effects of that we are living in a world in which is is
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radically different, a great example would be world war ii in which f.d.r. said i'm a juggler we've got to be in a position to fight, that made him a lousy husband but made him a great president. i would say with presint obama we' seen in the last four years a kind of law professor with a hawkish stream character driven foreign policy. and i think that's important of all these. i would argue in foreign policy i would submit for arguments that the character of the president matters almost more in foreign policy than domestic policy. >> a big part of the future has to be mirroring soft power with hard power. we've left soft power fall by the wayside. the face of america in that part of the world for most of the people involved in an islamic
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rage is somebody in a kevlar helmet and locked and loaded weapon playing road in a striker or humvee of some kind. a new president could have a big idea about creating diplomatic special forces. get aing a series of public service academies across the country, making public private and have them posted here but also abroadif you go to those villages in afghanistan, you can see the wariness in their eyes even though the young warriors who are so skilled say we want to help. i don't need more guys with guns telling me what to do but if you had diplomatic special forces secured by the military you could put up a dish and download midwifery or carpentry or nutrition you could have a big impact. but we're not thinking about how we go into this new world. >> rose: friedman, he's singing your song.
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pic up on tom's point, there's one word i keep coming back to when i think of the challenge of the next president and that is to make this a resilient country. resilience will be so important because if you look at the world in europe we're seeing today the crackup of the supernational state which is not working. in the arab world we're seeing the crackup of the nation state which isn't working there and the reemergence of the odest civil war on the planet, that between sunnis andhiis. and in china we're going to see the first chinese president have to deal with the biggest amount of political reform in a two-way conversation in a two-way conversation with the chinese people, 400 million bloggers. so xi jinping is going to have to navigate this new political reform in a two-way conversation. what i think of those three
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things, i think of one thing, i hope we can be a pillar of stability for this world. i hope we can be a resilient country. >> the good thing about that hope, tom, is that democracy is the most resilient form of government if only we, jon, really depend to character as well as in our leaders as well as the followers. i think kwrefr son was right and our founder, frankly, also said it. is which is you can't have a -- a lot of special pleading here. >> that's the best name dropping i've heard in a long time. >> an education -- an educated citizenry is essential to moving from campaigning to governance. because governing is a lot more painful than campaigning except this campaign which was the most
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painful campaign which may push the public to actually yearn for governance. >> an idea that got some currency a little while back, seems less so now because tough times have come to otherar of the world is america in decline. david, where do you come on the idea of america in decline? >> i'll quote my founding father, moses, who trumps everybody else's founding father. (laughter) >> so far! >> he wants to talk about abraham. >> he never saw the promised land, david. >> unfair! >> came close. you know, i don't -- i've never bought this america in decline business you look a people under 30, they're tremendously wholesome and responsible generation. my whole joke is they're going to have the biggest mid-life crisis in ten years. but until then they're very hardworking, they're very responsible, they'll save our
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bacon. second america is still basically america. we still have a very creative dynamic culture. there's a global middle-class. they're going to be buying our products. we're good at making products that go to middle-class like entertainment and education and then we do have this educational system that is in crisis, but we've got great universities. amy's university is fantastic, almost as good as the university of chicago. >> rose: here we go again. >> and we've got community colleges which i think are growing and have had good support. we've got a good education reform. so the culture of america is still basically the culture of america and i can't imagine any of us would trade our problems for anybody else's problems. >> rose: tom friedman? >> i would pick up on david -- i'm less sanguine because i worry sometimes that we are what what is called the cleest dirty shirt. i agree with the strengths that
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david has sited but i worry about the public private partnership that is needed to sustain those strengths and i fear we are in the worst kind of decline. a slow decline. just sroe enough for us to imagine we're not in a decline and not drop everything and do what is still very much in our control and power right now for reasons david said to turn this ship in another direction. >> but if you look at this idea of the united states having all the power not in decline but needing to tap into the resources it has and also needing to tap into resources around the world in terms of problem solving, is that a big opportunity that the right kind of president can seize? anybody? >> well, you know, one of the things i always -- you know, i've always admired about president obama, and i think is his great strength, when he gave his speech in cairo, charlie, i wrote then and i feel strongly about it still to this day that
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there were some in tat audience cairo four years ago who looked up at president obama and said wow, he's dark skinned; i'm dark skin. his name is barack; my name is barack. his grandfather is a muslim; my grandfather is a muslim. he's president of the united states and i can't vote. and i think if i got to -- and i think that set a lot of wheels in motion more than i realized. but i would say this. i think when they write the biography of president obama i think one of the things that is underappreciated -- i think he's been a great representative of the united stas. arlie, we're sitting here the day before the election, it's appearing the day of the election where we are debating whether to replace a black man whose middle name is hussein with a mormon. okay? where else do they do that? is this a great country or what? i think president obama whatever happens, he has been a great representative for the best of america around the world and our standing in the world has benefited from that.
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>> rose: david brooks? this question, unless you want to follow up on that. it is the capacity of leadership to be able to bring together these forces. is there -- what's necessary for president to be able to reach out and have the kind of leadership ability and the kind of argument to prevail in uniting divorce forces? tom brokaw spoke about public and private sectors. we've talked about internationally the need to do ngs in partnership with people around the world. we got such a complex world, no nation can do in the the same way it used to be when we had a biolar world. >> i guess i'm struck by something i'm always struck by when i have lunch or breakfast or dinner with a member of congress or a politician. i always think reasonable and private. i think the quality of people in government now are as good as it's ever been. if you go back to the founding -- a little higher then, maybe
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barack obama, mitt romney, if you just met them on the street, you would be impressed by them. the house people coming in, there's a medal of honor here, someone who founded a community group there, district after district, really impressive people if you talk to the senators, much less likely to be drunk at lunch than 20 years ago. so i think the quality of the individuals is fine. it's the system that stinks. >> rose: would you change the system? >> some of it can be done legislatively doing more open primaries. >> i would do more drinking in washington, that would help. i would do that around the country, too, actually. but i think it's a question of
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leadership and i think obama tried it. he came in really wanting to try, couldn't find the partners to do that. but if you had a burst of five or six people, you could change the dynamic and the quality of the individuals. >> rose: but you're talking about the idea of collegiality and other qualities that i think the country hungers for. >> you have to have a dual consciousness between a campaign consciousness and a governing consciousness and that requires a degree of elitism, frankly. a sense that i'm part in a leadership class and i'm going to behave in a certain way for the country even though it may not poll well. and that aristocratic ethos-- to sound a little hamiltonian-- is not there. (laughter) >> i would just say you can be elite without being elitist. once you get e elected to congress, you are member of the elite, but it's not elitist to think you have to govern. and to govn y havto have relationships. and the problem with reasonableness in congress now
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is the country desires it but the media ignores it. because if you're reasonable, if you speak reasonably, you don't get the media time that you get. so, i mean, there are problems with how the 24/7 blogosphere and media work. but i think whether it takes bourbon or soirees or whatever it would be really good for the next president to meet, to have relationships, to argue and to just guessing -- >> rose: there are secretary of states said to me the most important thing i learned in this job is how important personal relationships are. >> well, george herbert walker bush in the runup to building the great global coalition, one of the great diplomatic achievements in american life in 19991 used to say that what he would do when he first became president was he would call up
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an emir somewhere and say "how's the wther in the desert?" so when he called that emir at some other point and he needed something the emir remembered he called about the weather. >> he also had a great partner in james baker. >> rose: and they both understood that. >> if you were putting together the perfect president what qualities would you draw on from previous presidents you've read about? >> i'd start with tom's brain. you'd be go with lincoln, but i'm going to do my hamilton pitch. he wasn't a president but what he did was introduce a school of thinking that says this country is about social mobility. we have one party that's all about freedom. but we don't have a party about social mobility and the market and i do think that is the
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missing element in american life which we had in the early republican party and i think it's more the bstance. why is the center spweu tent in america. lack of ideas and agenda. i think it's filling out that agenda that's the crucial thing. one of the things that makes my job worthwhile is that one out of seven of our incoming freshmen will be the first in their families to graduate college. not enough of that is happening in our country and to go back to what i think we all could agree on is where we have an economic system that is truly free so that talented people can rise up beyond their family circumstances like many of us did is really to know what makes
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this country so wonderful and i think that dream is really suppressed in decades of late. >>ose: i don want litics to get too bad a rap here because there's not -- >> there's a new movie about abraham lincoln that makes that very point. that he was a politician. >> if somebody can come up with a better system, that's great. but it doesn't seem likely in the next couple weeks so -- jefferson where he was trying to work out a deal where the capital was going to be in washington and they were going to fund the debt and there was hamilton and adams and madison were fighting each other jefferson held a dinner and basically said i think it's best in the syst like ours to give as well as to take. so the ones we defy were deal makers. and the art of the deal is what is going to get us out of this.
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whether it will a b a deal for education funding or a give bill or whatever it is, it's going to require these folks getting elected tomorrow to go to david's point not just for the presidency but 435 guys around afrtand to attack politicians reflectively is counterproductive. >> when you ta about leadership, charlie, what john has hit on is one very specific part of leadership in politics which is politics is a craft. ted kennedy and other written hatch had it, tip o'neill tunnel and ronald reagan. we need to respect that craft. >> one of the places you can look for leadership in america is at the city level is around the country. where i think we have trouble is still in the states where there's an eupbt kuwaited system. new york has 11,000 state agencies, for example.
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iowa had 99 counties, 35 miles apart, everyone was a separate auditor and clerk of courts and everything else municipalities are reaching out and shutting down local agencies and bringing in private enterprise and working out a compact with them to make it more efficient to free up revenue and to give people hope the system can be k work for them. so that's one of the ways we need to nurture our leaders. i think we've been drawing from the same well for too long in terms of the people who are in washington. >> david brooks, is this a center right country or a center left country? >> i think demonstrably a center right country. just do the polling. the pew research center asked people where are you on a scale from 0 to 5, 0 being conservative, 5 being liberal. they're about a 2/3 or 2/2.
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so they e themselves as center right. they're suspicious of government but they think government should give them a helping hand with pell grants. if i could give advice to the republican party assuming they're going to be in tough shape it's get over the argument that the argument is about big government versus small government. it's not about that. it's about what kind of country are we and there are certain government programs that promote ambition that promote aspirations. there are certain programs that decrease those things. but just to make it an argument of big government versus little government means you'll lose, a lot of people in the lower middle-class you will lose the new immigrant groups and sentenced to a per patch wall minority status. >> rose: finally there's this. we are a different nation for many reasons but you look at the composition of the voting public today. this is a very different country
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than it was 25 years ago. >> it's a another reminder that it's an immigrant nation, charlie. it's always been part of the genius is that people come here to fulfill their aspirations and that they see opportunity and rule of law and see an opportunity for their children that they wouldn't have had from wherever they came. now we're seeing in the the electorate because it's not just latinos expanding, it's also asian americans and other ethnic groups coming here and planting their hopes in the soil and taking part in the election not just as voters but also as representatives. if you are across the country the face of the american public service has changed profoundly and i'm not just doing this to play to amy. i think this is going to be the center of women in america and there has to be an acknowledge. >> what do you mean going to be? (laughter) >> well, it is and it's taking place -- not just the father of three daughters and a remarkable
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wife and granddaughter but you look at every conceivable thing and that ought to be encouraged more than it is than the profile of it ought to be raised because we're going to need everybody to solvethis >> ro: thank you tom brokaw, jon meacham, amy gutman, tom friedman and david brooks. thank you. good evening, see you tomorrow night the day after the election. see you then. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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